If you don’t have deep knowledge of the refrigerants used for air conditioning systems and heat pumps, that’s fine. This is a technical field and you want to leave any work with refrigerants to certified HVAC professionals. For example, you might think that the refrigerant in your current AC is called “freon.” But freon isn’t a general term. It’s a brand name for a specific type of refrigerant. And it probably isn’t what your AC uses. Your AC or heat pump probably uses Puron.
What’s the difference and why is it important? This is useful information to have, so we’ll go over the basics below.
What Is Freon?
Before we get to Puron, we have to address Freon.
As we mentioned before, Freon is actually a brand name that often gets used to refer to refrigerants in general, the same way that Kleenex became universal for facial tissue. Freon is Dupont’s name for the refrigerant R-22 (and several others), a non-flammable, non-toxic refrigerant that became the mainstay of the refrigeration industry. The name R-22 refers to the molecular structure of the refrigerant, and we’re not getting into that in this post. The full name or R-22 is difluoromonochloromethane.
R-22 is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs). Because HCFCs have a negative impact on the environment, creating powerful greenhouse gases, it was marked for a phase-out that was completed in 2020. It’s replacement: Puron.
What Is Puron?
Puron is a brand name, one of several, for the refrigerant blend R-410A, a mixture of difluoromethane (CH2F2) and pentafluoroethane (CHF2CF3). R-410A is superior in most ways to R-22. It doesn’t create greenhouse gases and works with high-efficiency air conditioners and heat pumps to improve energy consumption. If you have an air conditioner or heat pump purchased after 2010, it almost certainly uses R-410A, as the phase-out of R-22 banned the manufacture of any more units that used it in 2010.
Making the Upgrade
You may have an old air conditioning or heat pump system that uses R-22. You can check by looking at the information plate on the AC, where it will list the refrigerant type. You cannot put a different refrigerant blend into your air conditioner or heat pump; it won’t work and will permanently damage the system. To change to Puron refrigerant in Fresno, CA, you must have a new air conditioning or heat pump system installed.
If you do have an R-22 unit, it’s already old enough for it to be ready for replacement anyway—and it’s likely well past that point, so we urge you to arrange a replacement as soon as you can. Not only is R-410A the better refrigerant and the newer ACs and heat pumps more energy efficient, but R-22 is no longer available to make repairs if your old unit breaks down.
Refrigerants are still changing, and eventually another refrigerant blend will replace R-410A. The process is already starting, but it hasn’t made a significant impact on residential comfort systems yet. If you arrange for a new heat pump or AC that uses R-410A, you can relax knowing you’ve got an effective and efficient system that will last you for many years.
Call us today to upgrade your older air conditioning equipment. Purl’s Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning. Uncompromised Quality & Customer Service Since 1952.